Silver Hill / Central Winchester Regeneration

Silver Hill plan, looking towards The Guildhall

The area known as Silver Hill covers an area of approximately 2.3 hectares of central Winchester. It includes the bus station, Friarsgate medical centre, Kings Walk and the Friarsgate car park amongst other elements.

Since the end of the 1990s the Council has been seeking the comprehensive redevelopment of this area to improve the quality of retail, residential and public space in the Silver Hill area.

Central Winchester Regeneration Informal Policy Group 13 September 2016:

An Informal Policy Group has been established to produce a Central Winchester Regeneration Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) that Cabinet can subsequently recommend for adoption by the Council. This process will involve fresh public engagement.

The SPD will set out the detailed aims and objectives for regeneration of central Winchester (within a defined area) and the consequential changes required to the surrounding area (including the Broadway and Lower High Street), as guided by the adopted planning policies in the Local Plan. The Informal Policy Group will aim to produce the draft SPD to Cabinet by June 2017, so that it can be adopted before the end of 2017.

Plans for replacing the St Clement’s surgery in nearby Upper Brook Street, formerly part of the Silver Hill development, are proceeding separately.

Withdrawal of Silver Hill appeal by developer 7 April 2016:

Winchester City Council notes that developer TH Real Estate has withdrawn its appeal against the judicial review decision on the 2014 Silver Hill development scheme. The Council was not party to this appeal.

The appeal against the February 2015 judgement that the proposed changes to the scheme were unlawful was due to be heard in May 2016. The effect was that the 2009 scheme remained in place but the proposed 2014 changes could not go ahead.

The City Council served letters on 10 February that gave the developer three months’ notice of termination of the development agreement. This means that the development agreement will terminate in May 2016 and withdrawal of the appeal has no direct impact on the Council. The developer has advised that it is not proceeding with its proposed application for judicial review of the Council's decision to serve the termination notice.

Cabinet 29 March 2016:

As part of the Council’s consideration of how to regenerate the Central area of Winchester following the termination of the Development Agreement with TH Real Estate, reports were considered by the Council’s Cabinet on 29th March and can be found on the link below. These considered land issues, the St Clements Doctors practice and a suggested method by which a new approach to future redevelopment of the area can be formulated. In addition some short term actions are being considered in relation to maintaining and keeping in use the Council’s properties in this area and to create some surface level car parking on part of the ‘now closed’ Frairsgate multi-storey car park.

The Council is committed to formulating a new proposal for the Central Winchester area based upon thorough engagement and consultation with those who live, work and have a stakeholder interest in the City. Further details will emerge shortly on how this will be undertaken. The Council will also be seeking to gather the appropriate evidence required in order to support this work and will be working with key stakeholders such as the Highway Authority, Bus Operators, local business, residents, local interest and representative groups and local Councillors in order to ensure that the process is properly informed.

Cabinet decided on 10 February 2016:
  1. To serve notice of termination of the Silver Hill Development Agreement (dated 22 December 2004) on the grounds that the unconditional date and the date for start of works as defined in the Development Agreement had not occurred by 1 June 2015.
  2. That no further action be taken to implement the compulsory purchase order (CPO).
  3. That a decision on whether or not to retain the freehold and leasehold interests within the Silver Hill area which were acquired by the Council in January 2014, together with the budget and estate management implications, be considered at a special Cabinet meeting (scheduled for 4pm on Tuesday 29 March 2016), and subject to consideration of a business case, with a preference that the properties be retained by the Council.
  4. That a report be brought to the special Cabinet meeting setting out in outline how development might be brought forward on the Silver Hill site in the light of termination of the Development Agreement.
  5. That an update report on the possible acquisition of the St. Clements Surgery and construction of a replacement surgery on Upper Brook Street Car Park be considered at a special Cabinet meeting.

Link to the Central Winchester Regeneration Informal Policy Group

Link to the Silver Hill update to Cabinet  21 May 2015

Link to the Council and Cabinet meetings on 18 June 201525 June 2015, 13 July 2015 and 15 July 2015

Statement: Silver Hill judicial review

Outcome of the Silver Hill Judicial Review – Statement by the Leader of Winchester City Council, Cllr Robert Humby

Link to the Pre-Action protocol letter from Hogan Lovells - 19 February 2016